Monday, 14 October 2013

Gunners Park Parrot Crossbills

You would have thought that after working in Southend for 18 months a while back that i would know two things:

1. Southend has a lot of speed cameras
2. Southend traffic wardens love their jobs.
So why was it then that when i cut my way to Mess Road i decided to park elsewhere and take a walk through the new estate leaving the car at the mecery of Sounthend Council? As such it turned out to be a relatively expensive trip. £70 or £35 if i pay within 14 days, how nice of them.
Why did i park elsewhere? I was being a considerate and careful birder, not knowing where in Mess Road the Crossbills would be i decided a quiet approach would be better - shouldnt have bothered after seeing all the cars and construction equipment down the road.
Anyway the Parrot Crossbills performed exremely well in the fir towards the the far end of the road on the coastal side. Arriving on site about 10am all four birds were in and out of the tree giving their own little performance.
So along with half of Essex i got a life Tick - no.212 and courtesy of Tony Brown heres what all the fuss was about...

More great shots from Tony can be found on his own blog The Cowboy Birder - He's Hotter than a birdseye chilli with that lens..........actually better not say that, there pretty mild :) Cheers for use Tony

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Rainham RSPB

The first full circuit of Rainham in an age. I had No1 Son and we arrived at the center for about 10ish and with the weather looking Ok we couldnt have asked for more.
It has been a while; there has been a few changes to the walk as well it seems with new viewing areas being put in to enhance the experience.
As we came off the ramp we headed right towards the woodland but initially stopped and scoped the scrape. Teal, Wigeon were in good numbers along with Greylag & Canada Geese, it was whilst scanning the back of the scrape that a white rump darted in front of the view briefly and down into a gulley. A few minutes later and there it was a fresh faced looking Wheatear, my first of the Autumn.
Heath was being pretty vocal so the chances of seeing much close up was thin so distance birding was the order of the day and as such not much seen within the Woodland area; heard a fair bit though, mixed tits, cettis warbler...the usual around this area.
My Boggie bird over Rainham is the Barn Owl; three years ive been going over there and i still havnt seen one; even today i was told in the center that one had been sticking its head out the Woodland Box all morning; not when i get there.....
From the gate half way between the old stump and Barretts hide two distant Marsh Harriers, which i managed better views of one as we met half way along the Northern Boardwalk while it hunted this time within the fox fence.
I found two magicians trying to turn a Redshank into a Spot Red from distance; i must admit to getting my wand out and having a go myself but i failed, a Redshanks a Redshank. No matter how many incantations we tried, it remained as was. We all left happy knowing we hadnt miss ID'd it.
Other than that i bumped into Steve, the dagenham chase, Drake and had a really pleasnt couple of hours in the reserve. I wont leave it as long next time.....